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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

222                         BYZANTINE CHURCHES                       CHAP.
be loyal to the wishes of the deceased sovereign* The wily courtier then set himself to win the leading men in the capital over to the cause of the younger brother^ and5 by the time Manuel was prepared to enter Constantinople3 had secured for him a popular welcome and the surrender of Isaac's claims.1
In 1147, the famous eikon of S. Demetrius of Thessa-lonia was transferred from the magnificent basilica dedicated to the saint in that city to the Pantokrator* This was done by the order of Manuel Comnenus5 at the request of Joseph^ then abbot of the monastery s and in accordance with the wishes of the emperor's parents^ the founders of the House.2 It was a great sacrifice to demand of the Macedonian shrine5 and by way of compensation a larger and more artistic eikon of S. Demetrius, in silver and gold^ was hung beside his tomb. But Constantinople rejoiced in the greater sanctity and virtue of the earlier picture3 and when tidings of its approach were received^ the whole fraternity of the Pantokrator5 with the senate and an immense crowd of devout persons3 went seven miles out from the city to hail the arrival of the image3 and to bear it in triumph to its new abodej, with psalms and hymns5 lighted tapers^ fragrant incense, and the gleam of soldiers' spears. Thus5 it was believedj the monastery gained more beauty and security 5 the dynasty of the Comneni more strength^ the Roman Empire and the Queen of cities am invisible but mighty power to keep enemies afar off.
In 1158 Bertha, the first wife of Manuel Comnenus, and sister-in-law of the Emperor Conrad of Germany3 was buried in the church,3 Twenty-two years later, Manuel Comnenus himself was laid in its herodn in a splendid" sarcophagus of black marble with a cover cut in seven protuberances.4 Beside the tomb was placed, the porphyry slab upon which the body of Christ was supposed to have been laid after His deposition from the cross. The slab was placed there in commemoration of the fact that when it was brought from Ephesus to Constantinople^ Manuel
1 Nket. Chon, pp. 53, 56, 66.                    2 Synax., October 26th.
8 Nket Chon. p. 151.                               * Aid. p. 289.